About the Home Care Packages Program
This program provides support to older people with complex needs to help them stay at home. Approved aged care service providers work with care recipients to plan, organise and deliver Home Care Packages.
What is the Home Care Packages Program?
The program supports older people with complex care needs to live independently in their own homes.
It uses a consumer-directed care approach to make sure the support suits a person’s needs and goals.
The support is provided through a Home Care Package — a coordinated mix of services that can include:
- help with household tasks
- equipment (such as walking frames)
- minor home modifications
- personal care
- clinical care such as nursing, allied health and physiotherapy services
There are 4 levels of Home Care Packages — from level 1 for basic care needs to level 4 for high care needs.
The Australian Government provides funding for Home Care Packages under the:
Why is the program important?
We know that most people want to stay at home for as long as possible as they get older. To support this, the program subsidises:
- in-home aged care services
- services to help people stay connected with their community
The program provides services that sit between:
- our entry-level Commonwealth Home Support Programme
- residential aged care for older people who can no longer live at home
Who provides the services?
Approved providers work with care recipients to plan, organise and deliver Home Care Packages.
Find out what you need to do before you can provide home care services.
Who is eligible?
The program supports older people with more complex needs to stay at home. They must:
- register with My Aged Care
- be referred for an assessment to find out whether they’re eligible
If eligible, we will tell the person the level of Home Care Package they have been approved for.
How does the program work?
We assign Home Care Packages to people — not providers. This means a person can choose a provider in their area that best meets their needs. It also means the person can take their package with them if they want to change providers.
National priority system
We prioritise people we have approved for a package in our national priority system, based on:
- their assessed priority for home care (either medium or high)
- the date of their approval
There is a lot of demand for Home Care Packages. A person may need to wait for a while before we have a package available to assign to them.
A person can choose to be assigned an interim package while they wait for a package at their approved level. This means they can start receiving some services at a lower level sooner. We will:
- let them and their provider know when a package at their approved level becomes available
- automatically upgrade their package when a package at their approved level is assigned to them
Home Care Package funding
The total amount of funding in a Home Care Package budget is made up of:
- the Government subsidy, including supplements for specific care needs if a person is eligible
- basic daily fees, payable by everyone who receives a package
- income-tested care fees, payable by people who have income over a certain amount
- amounts for additional care and services, payable if a person wants extra services that the package funding would not otherwise cover
The Government and the care recipient pay these amounts directly to the provider.
Services and prices
Providers set prices for each of their Home Care Package services. They can provide services in-house or subcontract other organisations to provide services.
- work with the person receiving care to plan their care and services
- use a consumer-directed care approach when providing services
Providers use a person’s Home Care Package funding to pay for the cost of the services. They must make sure the person:
- has enough funding to cover the cost of the planned services set out in their care plan
- gets the full benefit of their Home Care Package
Who oversees the program?
The Department of Health manages and develops policy for the program. We also:
- review the program to ensure it continues to meet the changing needs of older Australians
- carry out reforms to the Home Care Packages Program
- administers payments to providers on our behalf
- reviews and adjusts fee, subsidy and supplement rates
- provides online claiming services for providers
- assesses and monitors home care services to make sure they meet quality standards
- resolves complaints made about these services